Hard practice was his guide | Sunday Observer

Hard practice was his guide

Angelo Perera
Angelo Perera

Angelo Perera the uncapped batsman who was selected for the current tour of South Africa had indulged in a great deal of practicing that kept him in business until he got his call-up after hammering twin double hundreds in the concluded Premier League.

“I always practice hard before a match and the two double hundreds in both innings was a result of it,” said Angelo Perera before he left for South Africa last week where he will turn 29 on February 23.

“I had a dream to enter the Test team and with this ambition in mind I did really well to get more runs and the final result was a call for the South African tour.”

He has played in only two ODIs and two T20s and it seems that Angelo Perera has now come to a point where he cannot expect another recall if he fails to make the grade in the current set-up.

“I never liked the idea of being labelled a one-day or T20 player. Cricket is now about all three formats and playing for your country,” said Perera.

In the concluded inter-club season he scored nearly 900 runs after performing well against Ireland A for Sri Lanka A.

“I think I am now playing my best cricket and also lucky to receive a call-up to enter the Test team and we have come to realise how important domestic cricket is. I have already played nearly 10 years of domestic cricket and I have never changed my club NCC.

“Its environment is very good for the cricketers especially our cricket secretary Hashan Tillekaratna and all officials of NCC, the supporting staff, ground staff and I can never forget our coach Duminda Perera and previous coaches who have done a wonderful job for us,” said Perera.

He never realised that his twin double centuries against SSC marked only the second time in recorded history that such a feat was achieved way back in 1938 when Kent batsman Arthur Fagg, then 23, struck 244 and 202 not out against Essex in the English county season.

Perera first held a bat at the age of eight at the NCC Cricket Academy under the guidance of coach Lional Mendis before graduating at St. Peter’s College.

Much to the surprise of many, Perera was not selected for the first Test against South Africa which means he will be kept waiting and it is hoped his break will come sooner than later.

“South Africa has some very fine fast bowlers and this is the challenge to take responsibility which I am prepared for and several other batsmen who have done well in the inter club season,” Perera said.

Perera has already played in 97 first class matches with a highest 244 against Air Force in 2015 to add to 18 hundreds and 33 fifties for an aggregate of 6941 runs.

He made his debut for Sri Lanka in 2013 playing against South Africa in an ODI match and is yet to reach double figures in international cricket.

“I must say that NCC coaches Ruwin Peiris and Duminda Perera corrected some of my technicalities in batting and that gave me more success,” he said.